June 10, 2005
Astronomy.com received recognition from the leading international organization honoring excellence in web design, creativity, usability, and functionality. The 9th annual Webby Awards – dubbed the “Online Oscars” by Time magazine and the “Oscars of the Internet” by The New York Times – presented Astronomy magazine’s home page with a Webby Worthy Award. Of the more than 4,300 entries, less than 20 percent were deemed “Webby Worthy.” The award comes just a year after Astronomy.com redesigned its site. The International Academy of Digital Arts (IADA) – a global organization dedicated to the creative, technical, and professional progress of the Internet and interactive media – present the Webby Awards. IADA members include musician David Bowie, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, and Simpsons creator Matt Groening.
“The Webby Awards honor the outstanding web sites that are setting the standards for the Internet,” says Tiffany Shlain, creative director and founder of the Webby Awards. “Astronomy.com’s Webby Worthy selection is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.”
For the first time in its 9 years, the Webby Awards handed out “Webby Worthy Awards.” These awards honor web sites and the people behind them who demonstrate a standard of excellence.
The “people behind” Astronomy.com are Kalmbach’s Online Publishing, Astronomy Associate Editor Francis Reddy, and Astronomy Editorial Associate Jeremy McGovern.
“Frank and Jeremy were at the forefront of the web site’s redesign last summer working with Online Publishing,” says Astronomy Editor Dave Eicher. “They all have continued to grow and improve the site during the past year.”
“Being recognized by the Webby Awards is fantastic,” McGovern says. “The award lets us know we are successful in creating a site that is attractive and informative for a general audience.”
“The award validates our vision for improving the site’s design and content, as well as its integration with the magazine,” Reddy adds. “It’s nice to know everyone’s hard work is being recognized outside Kalmbach.”
Judging criteria for the awards included content structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity, and overall experience.
“The judges aren’t hardcore skygazers or NASA scientists,” McGovern says. “They are creative individuals whose primary expertise is the Web, not space. For our site to stand out above the hundreds of other astronomy sites and to receive recognition from the Webby judges means we’ve accomplished something that isn’t easy on the Internet: making a definitive, unique site when imitating other sites is the standard.”
This year’s Webbys had 63 categories. Astronomy entered in the Science category. Stockholm University’s “Hands on CERN” site won the Science Webby Award. National Geographic’s “Forces of Nature” site received the People’s Voice award.
Entries came from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. Astronomy entered its web site October 6, 2004. Information on this year’s award-winners and fellow Webby Worthy recipients can be found at www.webbyawards.com
June 10, 2005